Speaking as she introduced the four-member ministerial task team of sexual exploitation and abuse to the Military Command Council at the SANDF headquarters, the minister said: “I have absolute confidence in the structures of the SANDF, but with regards to handling this particular issue, my confidence is very limited.
“The Defence Force is a close-knit community which is able to rally around and close itself into a shell. I think it's about time the Defence Force opened itself up to scrutiny in order to self-correct. This is not a security matter that must be dealt with behind closed doors. It’s a matter of criminality, power relations, abuse of individuals.”
A report leaked to the media showed that only 13 of about 41 cases of sexual exploitation and abuse reported in the SANDF were completed. The minister said the task team would investigate why in some cases victims had been reluctant to testify, adding that victims have a right to come forward and report sexual harassment.
Mapisa-Nqakula said the task team would investigate cases dating to 2014 and that in executing their mandate, the task team would take steps to determine what measures were in place to protect and support victims from the moment a matter is reported until its finalisation.